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Acceptable Conference and Meeting Etiquette at Your Workplace

05 June 2024

The expected conduct at your workplace meetings or conferences is referred to as business meeting etiquette. And as trivial as it sounds, you can easily rise to the peak of your career through the proper exhibition of leadership and professionalism.

Like other business spaces, conference etiquette requires that the participants comport themselves and act in a professional manner throughout the meeting. For example, you need to be punctual to the designated location, listen attentively, refrain from talking without being permitted to, do away with your phone, and lots more.

However, we understand that due to the circumstances surrounding each workplace, meeting or conference etiquette might vary. As such, we have compiled all the significant attitudes you need to imbibe.

The most interesting part of the deal is that these business etiquette tips can be applied in other areas of your life, even your day-to-day living with family and friends. Now, all you've got to do is dedicate your full attention to this piece as we walk you through the meeting etiquette rules.

Meeting and Conference Etiquette Tips

The first tip you need to learn for a formal meeting at your workplace is the provision of an agenda. However, this might not be important during a casual business meeting with your colleagues over dinner.

Thus, here are the key elements you need to learn and practice wholeheartedly:

Punctuality - The Soul of Every Business

Arriving early for a business meeting shows that you understand the nitty-gritty of professionalism in business. It also shows that you are very mature and full of consideration and respect for other participants in the meeting.

With this tip, you'll be able to deal with any potential distraction that could have been caused by coming late. It'll also make the business conference easier for the leaders to coordinate without incessant disturbances caused by coming in when the meeting is on.

After all, there's almost no way you'll enter a conference room filled to the brim and you won't expect people nearby to lose concentration for a second by turning around to see who just entered.

Although this is one of the most popular etiquette rules, arriving a little bit late might be more acceptable for casual parties or social appointments outside the office. But as far as you're in a formal environment, it pays to always appear on time.

Never Go To the Meeting Without Being Fully Prepared

Especially when it's a gathering of many participants and different topics will be addressed, the organizers tend to send out emails showing the agenda for the meeting.

The essence of the agenda is to ensure that the business conference goes off without a hitch. And as a participant billed to address one of the topics, you must be fully ready to give the session your best shot.

If it requires researching broad and wide to make sure that nothing comes as a surprise to you at the meeting, we'll strongly advise that you do that. It is important business room etiquette.

Also, you might be requested to bring a writing pad along to help you give opinions or positions on a particular subject. You need to ensure that you have everything needed within your reach and arrive fully prepared.

Take Turns to Speak

Business meetings can sometimes get more passionate and exciting such that everyone wants to have a say on the issue at hand. Sure, it's fantastic that you want to give your input.

However, you should always wait until you are called to speak before you address the whole house. You should also learn how to let other folks finish articulating their points before hopping into the conversation.

Depending on the rules laid down by the facilitator, you should always raise your hand to signify your interest to talk. And if you feel that waiting might make you forget some of your thoughts, it is always better to write down the points.

However, the mere fact that you're writing down your point doesn't mean you should lose touch with the entire conversation.

Make Sure Everyone Amplifies Their Voice

Speaking loud and clear for everyone in the room to understand the points you're canvassing is another tip on the list of business meeting etiquette. At least, there need to be some differences in your tone when at a casual meeting and when you're addressing a formal gathering.

This idea makes you feel more confident in yourself. Even the listeners will have more confidence in you and your professional image will be upped. Another perk here is that there's an assurance that people heard you perfectly and proper reactions can be expected.

But why not soft or low-toned speaking? This style might make the conference or meeting less productive and the aura might be too boring for a professional gathering. Above all, soft speaking doesn't align with workplace etiquette.

Be Moderate with Your Dressing

There's this golden saying that you'll be addressed the way you are dressed. That's a nugget that also applies to the workplace. Hence, you should always strive to adhere to the dress code requirements laid down by your workplace.

Of course, the requirements given by your workplace might affect what is appropriate for you to wear. However, the burden lies on you to strike a balance and ensure that you don't flout the dress code rules set for each meeting.

This same tip applies when you have to engage a customer outside the office. If you are not certain of what to wear, it might be better to ask your boss what constitutes proper dress in that regard.

Ensure Your Questions Are Asked at the Right Time

For most business meetings and conferences, the perfect time to ask questions is in the course of the presentation. That is when your questions will be more relevant to the information that the facilitator is trying to pass across.

All you have to do is show maturity and courtesy by waiting for a break in their presentation and respectfully raising your hand. Of course, they'll also invite the participants to ask questions at intervals. So this is no big deal.

Also, it doesn't sound well that you wait till the very end of the meeting before you ask all your questions. That's not ideal. The best way if you have unanswered or answered-but-not-clear questions are to see the facilitator privately or forward a mail to the meeting leader.

You can be assured that they'll also be excited to respond to your email.

Be an Active Participant/Listener

The efficacy of your workplace meetings depends on how actively can the participants listen while the sessions go on. Therefore, you need to work on your active participation and listening skills.

You can also check out some non-verbal bodily reactions that you can give at intervals so that the speaker will know that you're following the flow of discussions. For example, nodding works here.

You can also exhibit active listening by asking questions whenever you encounter a grey area, summarizing what the speaker is saying, or exhibiting your worries.

Do Away With Technology

Many conference attendees keep their phones and other electronic gadgets on during meetings but that's a potential source of distraction if it buzzes, suddenly rings, or lights up.

Therefore, you need to switch off or silence all your devices. After that, you can put it where it won't be visible during the meeting, probably in a jacket pocket, briefcase, or purse. The idea here is to suppress the temptation of switching it back on and operating it.

Instead of bringing in your laptop, it is also better to bring you and paper to take notes. However, if you need to carry your laptop along, you should check with the meeting organizer to know if it's suitable and allowed to bring technology along.

Video Conferencing Etiquette

Although you might not want to accept the reality, it could soon start to be normal. So we'll advise that it is in your best monetary interest to think of measures you can adopt to avoid virtual meeting fatigue and spice up your productivity.

A very effective way is by investing in soundproof pods and building a meeting spot design where you can comfortably have your video conferences.

Meanwhile, this measure comes in handy when you coordinate a virtual ream. That means that you have to be in the know with all the fundamental video conferencing etiquette. The secret here's that you don't have to work at your highest level every time.

However, you should remember to ensure that your team members are aware of proper behavior.

Concentrate on the Meetings

Although it seems quite possible to have your attention drift away from the video conference you're having since no one is keeping close tabs on you. This could subconsciously take full priority of your focus.

For example, you might be forced to comment on how frizzy one of the participants' hair looks or how good-looking the co-worker you've been eyeing for a while. If utmost care is not taken, the efficiency of the meeting cannot be achieved and this might easily wear out everyone.

Before it all falls apart, you need to call yourself to order by making sure that you give the meeting your full concentration by dealing with anything that might affect your flow of thoughts. Also, you should learn how to change your direction if need be.

Check Your Background

A messy or disorganized background is one of the most common turnoffs for video meetings. So you need to bear in mind that much data goes into people's analysis of your person and character.

Therefore, you should note that an inappropriate or rough backdrop cannot give your listeners a good first impression of you. Now, the surest way to tackle this problem is when your background is confirmed clean before starting the virtual session.

As a substitute, you can choose from a collection of green-screen techniques that have been programmed in your virtual meeting platform. These effects might be as simple as the background of a library full of books.

Get Ready

This is more obvious especially when you know that you'll appear in front of the camera before the session ends. Even if you don't see the need to go live in front of the camera, it's still advisable that you dress formally.

This is because there are instances where participants have accidentally turned on their webcams during meetings. But once you're professionally dressed and such an accident happens, you will have no cause for alarm or to be embarrassed.

Muting is Cultural

The rationale behind the automatic muffling of people who joined a live session that is already underway is very reasonable. This is to avoid distractions. So the best thing to do is ensure that your microphone is muted.

The only exception here is when you know that it's your turn to talk during the online conference.

Are the Conference and Meeting Etiquette at Your Workplace Important?

There are several reasons why meeting etiquette is important, including:

Improves Communication

Learning the proper conference and meeting etiquette at your workplace will give room for a wave of respect among the employees. In turn, this will encourage improved and more effective communication.

Boosts Connection

Respect, they say, is reciprocal. People feel more appreciated and active in meetings and conferences where they are treated with respect. As a result, they'll be mentally and physically ready to give their best to the productivity of the meetings and the profitability of the company at large.

Fires Up Your Productivity Level

Consistent planning, provision of agendas, active participation, and listening are just a few examples of the diverse business conference etiquette guidelines that will help workers execute tasks more easily and with higher productivity rates.

Additionally, owning an office meeting pod here will also boost your productivity level.